Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Do You Have Pale Gums? What Causes It?

Healthy gums should be a shade of pink but sometimes they can become pale. Several health conditions can cause your gums to turn pale such as:

1. Anemia - Body is not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. A lack of blood can cause tissue to grow pale.

2. Leukoplakia - Oral leukoplakia can cause uniform, thin, white patched to develop on the gums. These patches are harmless but they can turn into cancer.

3. Menopause - Hormonal changes can decrease blood flow, which can cause the gums to become pale and dry.

4. Vitamin K deficiency - Vitamin K helps the blood clot but with not enough in your system can cause uncontrollably bleeding.

5. Gingivitis -  Gum Disease can over time turn the gums white and recede.

6. Oral Cancer - White gums and can spread very quickly.

 Its very important to talk to your dentist if you notice a change in color of your gums. Careful monitoring and regular dental visits can ensure oral conditions get the proper treatment.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mini Implants, Explained

I've had many people ask me this question and it was always a difficult one for me to try to explain, probably because I didn't have a clear understanding of it myself! While surfing the web this morning, I found a site that explains this procedure perfectly! A Mini Dental Implant is a process by which small posts are installed in the jawbone in order to stabilize dentures or other dental prosthetics. People who have problems wearing their dentures or whose bone structure has deteriorated over a long period of time due to the wearing of dentures are generally good candidates for mini implants.The procedure is less time consuming and less expensive than traditional implants. Many times it can be done in one day! If you wear dentures and are having difficulty securing them or if eating has become difficult and it is affecting your health, check with your dentist to see if mini implants would benefit you! 
Here is a link to an exceptional article (with illustrations) that explains the mini implant procedure. Keep Smiling!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Struggle With Frontal Fillings

A few years ago I had the option of getting crowns or veneers on my front teeth, or filling the cavities that I had around the gumline. In an effort to save money and the hassle of getting multiple crowns or veneers, I chose to have each cavity filled.

When they were first done, they looked great and I was very happy with my decision to do it that way. However, over the years I sort of regretted it. When they filled the cavities, they did a great job of matching my teeth color at the time. Which wasn't exactly pearly white. Like I said it looked great for years. Recently though I have made a solid effort to whiten my teeth. I am doing a great job on it, with the exception of the fillings. Since I chose to go with frontal fillings years ago, I find myself ending up with 2 different color of teeth.

So my point is this, if you are ever in a situation where you have to decide on frontal fillings or crowns, my advise is to go with the crowns or veneers. Chances are good I am going to need to go back into the dentist and get them done to help get the smile back that I have been longing for so long.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Is Oral Cancer Greater In Non-Smokers?

New research has discovered that non-smokers face a higher risk of developing oral cancer than smokers. CRAZY...

The research was done at the University of British Columbia where they looked at 450 patients with oral lesions and discovered that non-smokers were more than twice as likely to see them develop into cancer over smokers.

The Oral Health Foundation is calling on everyone to be alert of early signs of oral cancer. Catching oral cancer early can dramatically increase your chance if beating the disease.

Some signs of oral cancer:
  • Mouth ulcers that do not heal
  • Constant sore throat
  • Red and white patches
  • Unusual lumps or bumps on the head or neck area
It's important to do regular self checks at home and if you notice anything out of the ordinary seek medical/dental attention right away!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Use Your Teeth As Utensils!

From the time we are babies, we put objects in our mouths.  Toys, rocks, keys, marbles, the dogs ear, the cats tail, however, we learn as we get older that the dog and the cat are off limits...(snicker)   Some of us never learn though, that our teeth were not meant to be used as tools! We open bottles, can tabs, plastic containers and bags that should be cut with scissors...we have oral jewelry implanted on our lips or tongue and fiddle with them all the time. We hold our keys in our mouths, our pens and pencils, sun glasses, hair clips and other things and never even think about the damage we could be causing to our teeth! Misusing our teeth in this way can cause serious chipping, cracking and misalignment, whether by accidental occurrence or over time. This adds up to $$$ spent for tooth repairs and it all could have been prevented if we had just used our common sense in the first place and avoided the impulse to chew on something that wasn't food!

The bottom line is this: Objects that are not meant for human consumption should never be put in our mouths!
Keep that in mind, and Keep Smiling!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Dentistry In A Rural Town

For the last couple years I have lived in a smaller rural community in western Arizona. Over the couple years, I have gotten to know some of the dental centers in the area and have learned the struggles that they have, that those in the big city do not.

The first challenge they face is their costs. If you have ever been a patient in a rural area dental center, then you know that the cost of dentistry is higher. Trust me, the dentists would like to charge the rates of an urban area, but their costs are so much higher, especially when it comes to supplies. It is cost them more to have them shipped to them.

The other one challenge they face is their competition. In an urban area, there are so many people that smaller, doctor owned dental centers can keep up with corporate centers and have a better chance of success. However in a rural area, 1 or 2 corporate centers that have the higher advertising budget and the ability offer dirt cheap prices can easily dominate the area and leave the dentist owned facilities fight to stay afloat.

This is part of the reason why the Savon Rural Fee schedule is different than the Urban Fee schedule. We have to accommodate for more factors in the dental office

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why Do Teeth Turn Black?

Teeth owe their color to the high amount of calcium found in the outer layer of the teeth, known as the enamel.

Over time, additional elements left behind by foods and drinks can cause discoloration (yellow or gray) but if your teeth begin to turn black, seek dental attention as soon as possible.

Causes of black teeth can either be extrinsic (outside) or Intrinsic (inside).

Extrinsic:
  • Damage to the enamel
  • Stains
  • Tarter build up
  • Certain medications
  • Tobacco
  • Eating/drinking dark foods

Intrinsic:
  • Falling accident
  • Decay
  • Cavities
 A person can not do at home treatments to remove the black colorization. This needs to be treated by a dentist. The dentist may try and remove the tarter but sometimes its impossible and they may have to preform a root canal or possibly remove the tooth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Natural Remedies for Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the tongue, gums, inner cheeks or lips.  It looks like a white pasty coating on the tongue or patchy white sores on the inner cheeks or roof of the mouth. 
Babies, people with compromised immune systems and diabetic people are commonly prone to this type of infection.  It can be difficult to treat, but there are some things you can do at home to help.

1. Check your diet! Avoid sugar and starchy foods. Large amounts of sugar and white carbohydrates can bring on or worsen a bout of candida (Thrush).  Eat fresh raw vegetables and lean proteins or yogurt, or you can eat foods that contain vinegar, such as sauerkraut or pickles to actually ward off the infection.!
   
2. Try a natural remedy such as grapefruit seed extract (a few drops diluted in water,just wish a few times a day) coconut oil ( excellent to cook with in place of vegetable oils), plain, sugar free yogurt (yogurt contains healthy bacteria that helps to balance the ph in the body).  Adults with the infection can also take acidophilous capsules or liquid to help reduce the growth of bacteria.

3. Remember to clean your toothbrush and your tongue scraper with a bleach/water solution after each use to avoid reinfecting yourself when you brush your teeth. 

These are some of the ideas I came up with from around the web.

Enjoy, & keep smiling!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Manual Brushing or Electric Brushing.

My dentist advised me to get an Electric Toothbrush. That get me wondering what the advantages of them are. I did research on this topic and it appears that electric toothbrushes are the better choice, for these reasons:
  • They are more effective at removing plaque and tartar.
  • They prevent you from brushing too hard which can cause abrasion.
  • They make it easier for people with arthritis and other motor dysfunction to brush effectively.
  • Kids will brush more often because they think it's fun ( a definite plus!).
  • The ADA (American Dental Association) currently recommends electric brushes over manual brushing.
It seems that the chief drawback to the electric toothbrush is that they tend to be a little bit pricey. However, there are some affordable models out there if you're willing to shop around.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How To Treat Dental Pain Without Opioids

New research from the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University has found that Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs alone or in combination with acetaminophen are better at easing dental pain but sometimes opioids are the best option but should only be prescribed as a last resort.

The research found on adults: a combination of 400 milligrams of ibuprofen and 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen was superior to any opioid containing medications.

Anita Aminoshariae, an associate professor in the dental schools department of Endodontics and one of the study's authors, hopes health care providers take note of these findings!


For the full article click here!

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Dentist Gave Me A Tongue Scraper and Told Me To Use It. Really?

Yes, really! A tongue scraper. Have you ever noticed the crud that collects on your tongue toward the back of your mouth? Look just once (that'll be enough) and you will understand. You need this simple little tool.  And you need to use it every day. 

Now, here's the reason why. Simply brushing your tongue isn't enough! I'm guilty of that...I thought I had the right idea, but I was corrected by an article I saw about the importance of scraping your tongue vs. brushing it. Food embeds itself in the papillae on your tongue every time you eat; the same way that dirt and particles get embedded in shag carpeting...(yes, they actually used that as an example) and it builds up and sits there day after day and rots, literally, on your tongue, causing bad breath. Using a tongue scraper once a day can remove the buildup of food and liquids and keep you out of embarrassing situations caused by halitosis...(ummm, bad breath)! 

You can find these little gems in drugstores and department stores and they're usually under $2. Try to make tongue scraping a part of your daily hygiene routine. You'll be glad you did. Oh, and be sure to check with your dentist or hygienist because many of them include tongue scrapers now in the hygiene kits that they hand out after a cleaning. 

As always, keep smiling! 




Thursday, May 3, 2018

Acupuncture To Help Dental Anxiety?

Do you suffer dental anxiety? If so your not alone, about 30% of the adult population in countries world wide experience dental anxiety and there maybe a new method to help calm you down before your treatment. Researchers have found evidence that acupuncture could help reduce anxiety at the dentist!

More than 120 trials across England, China, Spain, Portugal and Germany were identified as having investigated the effects of acupuncture on patients with dental anxiety but only six trials with about 800 patients were eligible for review.  Researchers used a points scale to measure anxiety and the results show that anxiety levels were reduced by eight points when acupuncture treatment was given.

Professor of Acupuncture, Hugh MacPherson, at the University of York's Department of Health Sciences said "If acupuncture is to be integrated into dental practices, or for use in other cases of extreme anxiety, there needs to be more high quality research that demonstrates that it can have a lasting impact on the patient. Early indications look positive but there is still more work to be done."

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bad Habits That Can Ruin Your Perfect Smile!

I came across this informational write-up while web surfing.  There are things listed here that you may find surprising.  I know I did.  Some of these habits are obvious, some not so obvious, however, all of them are habits you might want to break in the interest of preserving your oral health. Enjoy!


  • Grinding your teeth - ( This is a habit that many people don't even realize they have)
  • Chewing Ice
  • Smoking -(Hard on tooth enamel and gums!)
  • Chewing tobacco (obvious reasons, ugh!)
  • Chewing on a pencil (the metal binder at the top)
  • Eating Sunflower Seeds 
  • Drinking soda (sugar, sugar, sugar!)
  • Opening things with your teeth
  • Bulimia or Anorexia (Has a similar effect to Meth use)
  • Meth Usage (A condition known as meth-mouth....Look that up!  It's not pretty) 
  • Tongue piercing (aside from infection, people have been known to bite down on the tongue ring and chip teeth.) 
  • Drinking Fruit Juices (Fruit juices contain more sugar than you may think!)
  • Munching on Raisins (Raisins can cause cavities) 
Keep Smiling!